A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge  
TABLE OF CONTENTS     Paths to the e-Knowledge Future
© SCUP 2003
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Tracking the Indicators of the e-Knowledge Economy


Chapter 3

Paths to the
e-Knowledge Future

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Building e-Knowledge Infrastructures and Capabilities. Through expeditionary initiatives, organizations can develop the infrastructures, build the competencies, reinvent the processes, and recalibrate their best practices for learning and knowledge management in the face of emerging developments in e-knowledge standards, processes, and marketplaces. Every organization’s expeditionary initiatives and distinctive migration path will change in the face of developments in these different elements and the organization’s adaptations. As they reshape their expeditionary e-knowledge initiatives, it will be necessary for organizations to monitor and consider the impact of all of these factors.

Cascading Reinvention of
Processes and Practices

Ultimately, all of the processes and practices of knowledge management and learning will be substantially changed, even transformed. Progressively, organizations will use ICT to reinvent all organizational processes, including learning, learning support services, administrative support, and knowledge management. So at the very time that the e-Knowledge Industry is emerging, its processes and practices will be reinvented. The scope and nature of reinvention will expand as new tools, infrastructures, and best practices become available. Cascading cycles of reinvention will continue over some time as the killer apps of e-knowledge practice emerge and are refined.

In the future, organizational e-knowledge processes, knowledge ecologies, and best practices are likely to be very different than those of today. A cascading series of reinventions will lead to new strategies, business models, and best practices for e-learning and e-knowledge management.


Tracking the Indicators of the e-Knowledge Economy


Given the cascading reinvention of e-knowledge, how can one chart its development? The answer is simple if not easy: by tracking snapshots of three families of indicators, which capture the major, interacting developments in the field.

Technologies, Standards, and Marketplaces for e-Content

A cornerstone of e-knowledge is the creation of modules of content that can be stored, repurposed, and combined, and the use of which can be metered and charged to a customer where appropriate. These modules will be available in a range of forms: highly granular (paragraphs, individual images, video clips), to chapters and topics, to full texts and anthologies. Such modular content is typically referred to as “learning objects.”

Repositories and responsive marketplaces for e-content are being developed today. For this to happen, standards must be developed that enable true interoperability for learning objects and practices. In the education sector, groups like MERLOT, Open Knowledge Initiative (OKI), and the Learning Federation are developing shareable repositories of content. The Learning Objects Network is working with Sun and Artesia to develop repository capabilities for the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) initiative for the U.S. Department of Defense.


In the association industry, specific trade and professional groups are developing repositories that define the body of knowledge for the profession or industry and provide access to digitized resources through the portals of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, American Health Information Management Association and others.

Repositories, bodies of
knowledge, exchanges and marketplaces will all serve as alternative channels for providers and consumers of learning objects and tacit knowledge. Over time, “meta-marketplaces” may develop to aggregate and repurpose the resources available to consumers by creating horizontal channels that cut across vertical knowledge silos.

Standards, processes, and marketplaces for e-content are emerging from the efforts of:

  • working groups and organizations dealing with the arcane world of standards aimed at developing specifications for fluid, flexible, interoperable “learning objects;” and
  • consortia and corporations establishing processes, clearinghouses, and marketplaces for exchanging learning content.



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